WAUSAU PILOT AND REVIEW
NEWS RELEASE — The Brown County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect believed to be related to the “Felony Lane Gang” (FLG) style of bank fraud and identity theft.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in part identifies FLG as a group of organized burglary and identity theft rings originating in South Florida and operating in multiple jurisdictions throughout the U.S. These decentralized crews often operate independently, with a loose hierarchy mimicking the method of operations outlined below.
The group utilizes rental vehicles with heavily-tinted windows to conduct surveillance in parking lots and steal identification documents, credit cards, and checkbooks from unattended vehicles. The majority of these burglaries occur at gyms, fitness centers, daycare facilities and recreation areas where women would be more likely to leave their purses in their vehicles.
FLG members then use the stolen checks and IDs to withdraw large sums of money at multiple banks before the victims have the opportunity to close their accounts.
Since the victims are almost always female, FLG subjects have been known to recruit women, often prostitutes and drug users, from outside of the group to impersonate the victims. These women are known to successfully utilize disguises, such as wigs. The subjects will strategically choose the farthest window from the teller, in bank drive-thru lanes, to impersonate the customer while using a stolen ID. This drive-thru lane is commonly known as the “felony lane”, thus coining the name of this criminal enterprise.
On May 23, four Brown County Nicolet National Bank branches located in Suamico, Howard, Bellevue and Green Bay were targeted by an unidentified woman with a total estimated loss in excess of $13,000.00. The issuer and the payee of some of the fraudulent checks were both victims of car break ins while their vehicles were parked at a health club in Kaukauna.
Another issuer on other fraudulent checks was identified to be a victim of a car break in that took place in Mequon.
Included is a recovered image of a female suspect and the suspect vehicle. The suspect’s vehicle bore two different license plates, both of which are not listed to this vehicle.
Additional vehicles were also broken into at the health club in Kaukuana and preliminary information suggests numerous instances of fraud and victims throughout the state of Wisconsin possibly including Appleton, Grand Chute, Janesville and Fond du Lac. Based on intelligence suggesting that the offenders may be from out of state and confirmed fraud associated with this particular group in numerous jurisdictions throughout the state, this alert is being issued statewide.
Please contact Sgt. Roman Aronstein (Brown County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Division) if your agency has cases believed to be related with this investigation.
If anyone has information concerning this case, please call the Brown County Sheriff’s Office at 920-448-4230. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward by contacting Green Bay Area Crime Stoppers by phone at #920-432-7867, through their website at 432stop.com, or by downloading the P3 tip app through Google Play or the App Store.